The Early Years Foundation Stage and Our Curriculum
At Jenny Wren Nursery we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum which is a statutory framework developed by the Government for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old.
We plan and provide a range of play activities, which supports the children to make progress in the areas of development.
The areas of learning and development are broken into two groups, prime and specific areas.
There are 3 prime areas: These areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning. The prime areas are:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in the 4 specific areas. These are:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
For more information on the Early Years Foundation Stage please visit:
We understand that children happily learn whilst playing naturally. We recognise the importance of a planned, well resourced environment that offers safe but challenging play experiences and opportunities to suit all children.
The Characteristics of Effective Learning
When planning and guiding children’s activities, we consider the characteristics of effective teaching and learning as well as the different ways that children learn. We reflect these characteristics in our practice.
The three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:
- Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’.
- Active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements.
- Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things. Children learn and develop through their play.
Children’s EYFS starting points are important in ensuring good progress in the child’s development, clear individual next steps and a true reflection of their capabilities.
The EYFS underpins all children’s development and outlines the milestones each child needs to complete to meet the 17 early learning goals set for Baseline Assessments. The goals are achieved from birth up to the end of the reception year. These goals are mainly developed at home but are incorporated into the early years setting. They are completed in primary school at the end of Reception year.
At Jenny Wren Nursery our team, gain an understanding of a child’s starting point by gathering information and evidence from the parents/carers. This is achieved through using an information sheet about the child’s interests and abilities for parents/carers to complete before the child starts. The information is built on at the settling in sessions, together with the first few sessions observation sheet in the Nursery. This is then used to evaluate and understand where the child is at developmentally and helps form the child’s stating points for their learning plan.
Children happily learn whilst playing and exploring.
We use a mixture of ‘In The Moment’ planning and some topic based planned activities to enable us to encourage our children in this learning. Through our reflective practice we have discovered that this approach enables us to ensure that all children are effectively provided for and as such reach their full potential.
Jenny Wren Nursery offers a carefully planned environment and curriculum to promote activities and experiences that encourage and facilitate maximum opportunities for every child within our nursery to learn and develop. Careful observation and discussions by our team is key to utilising the ‘in the moment’ planning approach – ‘opportunities to seize the moment when a child shows a level of interest and curiosity that can be drawn out and then enhanced and built upon need to be recognised’ – these are normally called ‘teachable moments’.
Our topic planning is based around the key interests, likes and needs the of children within our setting. We target next steps using carefully planned activities and ensure that our curriculum is inclusive for all the children that attend.
Observation, Assessment and Recording
Observing and assessing children during play forms an important part in identifying children’s progress, and understanding their needs and next steps.
It is critical to inform our planning and to look at a child’s next steps. Ongoing assessment is an important part of the learning and development process and involves the child’s Key Person. The Key Person is able to build a relationship with your child and observe them, helping to understand their level of achievement, interests and learning styles thus supporting their learning experiences. Evidence of the child’s learning and development is captured in their individual Learning Journal which forms part of their development record. This is a two way shared experience and parents and carers are invited to contribute with updates and photos from home to ensure all your child’s special moments, which form part of their development, are captured and celebrated.
Each Jenny Wren child is allocated a Key Person who will build this strong relationship with the child and their parents or carers. It is the Key Person who creates the child’s learning journal which consists of observations, photographs, videos and progress checks. Through this learning journal areas of strength or areas where additional support is needed can be identified.
At Jenny Wren Nursery we use an online system for our learning journals called Tapestry. Through Tapestry parents and carers have secure access to their child’s learning journal and can comment on observations or share their own to contribute to the overall picture of their child and their learning journey.
At Jenny Wren Nursery we have an open door policy where parents and carers can come into the nursery setting at any time including play sessions, events and discussions with the team. We also invite parents to meet with their child’s key person regularly as well as on request by the parent or carer.